Shabbat Shalom Jan. 17, 2014

Ariel Sharon 1928-2014
Shabbat Shalom January 17, 2014

Dear Friends and Family,

Final Farewell
The Israeli elder statesman, Ariel Sharon, passed away this week at the age of 85. Though many had bid him farewell 8 years ago when he descended into a coma, his organs and body finally surrendered to the inevitability of death last Saturday. His contributions to the survival and stability of our homeland ismonumentous and appreciated.  Though his last effort (and public appearance Jan. 1, 2006) was with a group of young Jews (from 12 different countries) when he emphasized the importance of year-long Masa (Journeys) to our homeland.  May his memory, spirit and triumphs be a blessing unto our peoplehood and may tributes of young journeymen/women descend upon Eretz Israel for many years to come.

Cycle of Life
Two other coma patients have pre-occupied our nation these last few weeks with opposite stories.  Sadly, tragedy struck a young girl’s family when a tonsillectomy caused the child to become brain dead, yet the family refused to allow the hospital to take her off life support and the opposite occurred when a blood clot of a young (14 week) pregnant woman denied oxygen to her brain yet the hospital was unable to disconnect her breathing tubes as Texas Law (and Michigan law) forbids the removal of life support from a pregnant women. In my opinion, Death is the next journey in the cycle of Life and hopefully will come after experiencing ample time on Earth. Sadly, sometimes that time is too short. The unknown provokes fear but since no one knows what happens after death, we are free to choose (which I do) an optimistic perspective.

Heroic Women
The Golden Globes were entertaining last Sunday but the best part was the (1 minute) Bing comerical featucing heroic women from all walks of life.  Truly inspiring video:

Thankful Miracles
“Wonders of wonders, miracles of miracles”, Fiddler is celebrating the 50th anniversary of it’s Broadway debut. Another wondrous miracle this week is the House passed the $1.1 trillion 2014 budget.  Senate will vote on it too (but after this email is sent). Thankfully an additional wondrous miracle occurred this week as the Iron Dome intercepted 5 rockets fired from Gaza at Ashkelon (our son-in-law’s hometown).


Old Packard Plant
Bravo to Fernando Palazuelo for committing time, money and optimism in buying the dilapidated Detroit Packard Plant.  May his efforts bring success for both our beloved city and his future bank account. Here is a photo of this handsome man, though I couldn’t find one of him smiling but hopefully his future expression will be brighter:

Fernando Palazuelo

First Woman
Bravo to Mary Barra, new GM CEO and the first women to head a global auto company. She is the most popular person at this year’s Detroit Auto Show as GM’s Stingray and Silverado were awarded the coveted Car and Truck of the Year honors. Its the first time in GM’s history that they won both awards AND the first time a woman is in charge…coincidence… I think NOT.

Mary Barra

Saving Grace
It’s not a done deal yet but bravo to all of those large and small, national and local foundations who raised $330 million to help save our DIA artwork and Detroit employee pensions.  Our State plans to kick in some funds too. This is just one of the many creative and supportive efforts exhibited to help our Bankrupt City.

Questionable Curriculum
While our high school students are taught the 3 Rs, a different curriculum is fine-tuned in Gaza.  13,000 students enrolled in the “art” of fighting Israelis, an elective in all Gaza schools. Hamas runs these program where they learn to shot AK-47s and dodge burning tires. 15 year old Osama Shehada wants to continue his studies in engineering so he can “learn how to make bombs and explosives to target Israel”.  The Hamas Education Ministry’s textbooks do NOT recognize Israel on the map or the Olso accords signed with the PLO.  While Israel is continuously bombarded with criticism and boycotts, where is the outrage against indoctrinating the youth of Gaza.

On the other side of the world and a world apart from the above story.  Here is a sweet and meaningful example of how thoughtful sensitive kids can teach a course in humanity and the lesson took place right here in Michigan:

We are a strange species with weird ideas.  Case in point was this Sunday’s No Pants Subway Ride 2014.  No joke, the 13th anniversary took place in 60 cities all over the world.

 Here’s proof:
 Did any of you take part?

Wishing you and your loved ones a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom,



Happy Tu B’Shvat – New Year for Trees
January 16th


Chris Christie has been doing lots of explaining lately for some political indiscretions. When in politics, keeping squeaky clean should be your motto.  Though lawmakers do seem to keep comedians stocked with material.  Jimmy Fallon is a master with this material and he and Bruce Springsteen delighted his audience this week with a new rendition of Born to Run.  You almost can’t tell which is the real Springsteen. Enjoy:

Michigan Senate Seat
Someone who’s keeps out of the limelight and public eye is US Senate republican candidate Terri Lynn Land.  She announced her campaign months ago but hasn’t spoken in public to express her views.  One view that concerns me is her extremely anti-choice stance even for rape, incest or the threat to the woman’s life.  Another concern is her independent wealth which she will supplement generously to the (seemingly unlimited) Koch Brothersfunds being used to smear Dem. Candidate

Gary Peters.  As election day (Nov. 4th) approaches, you will see many pleas in these emails to help educate and encourage election participation. In other words,  PLEASE, get to know who’s running and encourage voter turn out.

Our Choice
Our Michigan political scene is lopsided and specific leaning. From top to bottom, all political positions are Republican (Governor, both chambers of Congress, Attorney General, Sec. of State, Supreme Court).  Major amounts of pass-through contributions and super PAC funding have contributed to this imbalanced situation. (side note: we are in DESPERATE need of campaign finance reform). Because of this situation, more conservative laws are sailing through the system.  One example is the new law excluding abortions from insurance policies.  The Right to Life (signature gathering) movement and our Republican congress jammed this through without Veto options.  This is devastating for those who can’t afford the legal procedure of pregnancy termination even in cases of rape or fetal abnormality. A ballot initiative to repeal this law is risky and too costly so we Michigander REALLY need to vote with our Soap Boxes and Ballot Boxes to rightsize our Michigan political scene.

Sad News
Condolences to cousin, Shelley Wainer and her family on the passing of her beloved father, Robert Golden.  May his memory and love bring comfort to Shelley, David, Ashley, Lindsay, Ryan, Aria, Evann, Dylan and Harrison during their time of sorrow.
Wedded Bliss
Mazel to Marc and Suzanne Winkelman on the marriage last weekend of their daughter Alex Winkelman to Adam Zeplain. Wishing the newlyweds a lifetime of love, laughter, health and happiness.

Bonus video:  Ever need to open a bottle of wine but alas you have no corkscrew? Here’s your solution.

Jan. 17th
Bryce Sandler
Don Benyas
Perry Teicher
Michelle Obama born 1964

Jan. 18th
Yossi Peled
Barry Manilow’s Mandy is #1 song in 1975

Jan. 19th
Adam Blanck
Indira Gandhi becomes India’s first female prime minister in 1966

Jan. 20th
Robert Wittenberg
George Burns born in 1896

Jan. 21st
Tzvi Raviv (best son-in-law)
Rachel Stone
Roy Orbison inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 1987

Jan. 22nd
Bill Graham (Happy 70th)
Rose Kennedy died at 104 in 1995

Jan. 23rd
Lisa Sobel
Ronen Aviani
Sarah Rabin Butts
Cathy Rosenhaus
Casablanca release in Theaters in 1943

For those who are forwarded this message by a friend or read it on Facebook, you can receive your own version each Friday morning at 6am by clicking on the above button.

Shabbat Shalom Jan. 17, 2014

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